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Tuesday, 9 June 2015

FTSE 100 share index

The FTSE 100 share index has fallen back quite a bit from its recent highs. I am not too surprised. Greece is still filled with uncertainty and we, in the UK, have an EU referendum coming up, probably next year, the outcome of which is far from certain.   Personally I think Greece will default and eventually leave the Eurozone.  Greece is not a good place to be currently. The UK referendum is bound to create a climate of uncertainty. Markets like stability.

I hope we, in the UK, vote to stay in the EU, but that some of its ways are changed. It does seem bogged down with rules that work against an open market, which is really what we joined in 1975. Some of our population issues are of our own making due to our relatively good economy, but I still feel we, the UK, should have the last word on who can stay and work here, not the bureaucrats in Brussels.  At the moment, the EU seems to have the last word.

If we do not want a federal Europe that is our decision. We have always been "on the edge" of Europe both politically and geographically and I hope this continues. Yes to a common EU market, but no to the UK in the Euro and a federal Europe. Fine for those that want it.  Actually the whole EU would benefit from some reform. In many countries the pressure is building and the politicians need to listen to the voice of the people.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Ebola - no longer in the news

Certainly here in the UK, and I suspect the USA, Ebola went out of the news late last year.  Although the West African outbreak was the worst on record, it is sad that it soon became not newsworthy. It looks like the outbreak is now under control but it is a sad indictment of our society that when things go "off the radar" we hear little about them. It is a warning that what is considered "news" is filtered.

See .

Saturday, 6 June 2015

British Gas - are they ALL totally clueless?

A few weeks ago we were due to get a free Smart Meter upgrade and we waited in all morning for the appointment that never happened. Subsequent emails, despite a request that they ring me, resulted in them (or their not joined up computers) arranging 3 inconvenient new appointments.  Really they are a basket case!

Nearly a month later and I have still not been told why the very first appointment did not happen. They really really are useless. I am sick and tired of communicating by emails to, what would appear to be, computers or humans without brains.

I have heard similar stories from others too.  The trouble is I suspect the alternatives would be just as bad.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

London Theatre

London has some excellent theatres, but they are expensive. Add the cost of train travel and parking and you need a mortgage!

Our village (60 miles from London) arranges theatre coach trips which are excellent value as they take you door-to-theatre door (just about) with plenty of time for a meal before the show and the price includes the coach and the theatre ticket (good seats too). We used to go on these trips regularly and went today to see "Beautiful" at the Aldwych Theatre. We ate just around the corner at Garfunkel's where a 3 course meal was £11.95.  Not bad either.  The theatre musical was first class with lots of songs from the 1960s.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Noctilucent clouds

This is the best time of year to see these wispy, high altitude, clouds. They are most commonly seen in the night sky from 20 days before to about 50 days after the summer solstice. They form in the mesosphere at high altitudes and are seen in the northern night sky in June.

See .

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

June snow

I am reminded that 40 years ago we actually had snow on this day! At the moment, it is still windy and wet although the temperatures are not too bad. Later this week we may get better, although there is now a threat of thunderstorms! You cannot win. British weather! I love it.

Monday, 1 June 2015


Usually our lawns look pretty good and weed free. They ought to as we pay Green Thumb a decent amount each month to treat, scarify and tine.  The last time they treated the lawn they scarified and removed a fair bit of moss. I have removed the dead moss and reseeded in places, but there is a lot of course grass and there are brownish patches.

My wife is very cross and wants them back to fix the lawn, which looked far better last year. They are coming again on Friday and have promised to put things right. We shall see. If not, they will lose our business and I am pretty sure my wife will "go viral" with her displeasure.

Green Thumb ought to have done a better job as lots of people have looked over the front garden wall and asked, "what happened to your lovely lawn?". The front lawn is right next to the local windmill and museum and should be a showcase for Green Thumb.